Egyptian Finance Minister el-Morsi Hegazy is confident about economic growth
Egypt is committed to enacting "comprehensive economic and social measures" to support economic, financial and social stability in the mid to long term, Egyptian Finance Minister el-Morsi Hegazy has said
Speaking at a meeting with James Moran, the head of European Union (EU) delegation visiting Cairo, Hegazy underlined increased investments as "the most important lynchpin" in achieving the growth and employment rates which the government is aiming for.
The minister also confirmed that negotiations between the Egyptian government and the International Monetary Fund [IMF] are ongoing and that the ministry is working to "complete its review of the programme of economic reform, in light of the latest developments and amendments to some elements within the reform programme introduced by the government in November 2012, in accordance with the outcome of the society-wide discussions."
The minister's meeting with Moran was based on two key subjects: Egypt's economic position and the government's intentions regarding completion of the programme of economic and social reforms with the IMF, and the joint cooperation programme between Egypt and the EU with regards to projects run by the Ministry of Finance.
The meeting was also attended by under-secretary Hani Kadri and Ministry Adviser for Economic Affairs Abdallah Shehata.
The minister also noted that Egypt has "a variety of investment opportunities," citing development projects around the Suez Canal, in Sinai and the New Valley, along with other projects which are included in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme. He said that the ministry is preparing to launch a number of major projects within the programme, including a project to expand and develop the Safaga Industrial Port and another to develop the Maadi Technology Park. He also listed developments in a number of hospitals and water and sewage plants, along with projects to recycle hard waste for energy production.
EU official Moran reaffirmed the institution's commitment to supporting Egypt in this critical time. He also said that the resumption of negotiations between Egypt and the IMF will send a strong message that Egypt enjoys economic stability, enabling the country to attract more investment. He also highlighted the need for the country's political leadership to support economic reform programmes and achieve stability.
In terms of support from the EU, Hegazy said he told the European side to support programmes for the development of the government's financial administration and introduce an internal audit system to bring the ministry in line with financial institutions in major states. The same should then be done in all budgetary units in ministries and state agencies within a time period to be determined at a later date.
Hegazi said there is agreement with the EU to back this project.